The Joe’s Boxing Method – you can’t change your natural temperament but you can work with it

I was recently crossing the road in Dublin and was in a very relaxed way when suddenly a man darted in front of me from behind and turned with a menacing stare. Immediately my heart-rate shot up and i was immediately in a state of Fight/Flight. I held his stare and he moved on but it surprised me that after 50 years of training my physiology automatically returned to this state and fight or flight response kicking in. There is no changing who you are and the are benefits and drawbacks to each and everyone’s natural physiology.

My nature makes me generally vigilante and if I am doing something dangerous, I have to fight the fear but the fear makes us alert to our self-preservation. I have had friends who seem to have had no fear in any situation which made them most impressive but needless to say 2 out of 3 of them are dead.

I started martial arts training not necessarily because I was fearful but because I didn’t like being in situations I felt out of my depth and having my heart beat pound and the adrenaline levels rise. What i didn’t know is that wouldn’t change but what would change is my ability to deal with it, my ability to control my emotions and keep my mind focused in stressful situations.

Many people say that they find that focus and calming of mind transfers to other areas of their lives. I actually have never found that worked for me but I also have found that meditation never worked for me either until very recently where I have looked at meditation another way which I will discuss next.

In summary you don’t have to be cliche cool in a self-defense or fight situation as long as you understand how your own body works physiologically in a stressful or dangerous situation you will be able to understand and control your physiology and learn to be calm and act accordingly. I refer to my earlier chapter where i say that it is important that at some stage in your boxing education you get a blow to the head hard enough to see stars and go weak at the knees. The first time it happens will be sheer panic but after you realize you’re not going to die you get used to it and if it happens again you start learning to control it and go through it even if somebody may be trying to attack you. This one of the great things in Boxing believe it or not because it’s a hugely valuable asset if you were attacked on the street.